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Increase Acceptance of Occupational Exoskeletons in an Industrial Context

JUL 2024

Abstract

Occupational exoskeletons are not yet frequently used at work. Previous research has indicated multiple factors (physiological, implementation-related, work-related, policy, and psycho-social) that can explain this lack of adoption. However, there is a lack of specific requirements related to these themes to improve exoskeletons and their adoption. Therefore, the goal of our research is to formulate concrete requirements for the design and implementation of exoskeletons. We used a design ethnography approach (focus groups, an interview, observations, surveys, and group interviews) with multiple stakeholders (users, designers, and potential future users). Our data suggest that potential future users of exoskeletons believe that existing exoskeletons should be improved to be adopted. Exoskeletons should be more comfortable to wear and flexible enough to support a wider range of tasks. We have formulated 49 requirements for occupational exoskeletons, and we validated and extended an existing framework. Our work encourages the improved design of future or existing exoskeletons.

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Shirley A. Elprama

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